|New Flight to Tokyo to Open Gateways for Business, Tourism
Mayor Hancock to lead delegation to Tokyo and Seoul on June 10
DENVER — Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Colorado Tourism Director Al White and Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. CEO Tom Clark announced today they will lead a delegation to Japan the week of June 10 to inaugurate new nonstop service between Tokyo and Denver on United Airlines’ 787 Dreamliner. A smaller delegation also will travel to Seoul, South Korea immediately following the visit to Tokyo.
The highly anticipated flight between Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and Denver International Airport will open new gateways for business, tourism and culture that will link the Rocky Mountain West with all of Asia.
Nearly 70 Colorado business, tourism, and government officials will be traveling to Japan next week to deliver the clear message that Colorado is open for business and ready to set a strong trade, tourism and investment foundation between the two regions.
Experts in energy development, officials from colleges and universities, and a group of high school drummers who will perform with traditional Japanese Taiko drummers will be part of the Colorado delegation.
“We have been working for nearly two decades to launch this new flight linking Asia to the Intermountain West,” said Mayor Hancock, who studied in Takayama as a high school exchange student in the 1980s and has traveled to Japan numerous times.
“This new air service will open the doors of opportunity for business development, international trade and increased tourism,” Mayor Hancock said. “I’m excited about the jobs that will be created, the economic benefits that will be generated and the new cultural connections that will be fostered.”
The delegation from Denver and Colorado will celebrate the start of the new nonstop flight with a reception at the residence of the U.S Ambassador to Japan, John V. Roos. During the visit to Tokyo, the Colorado group also will:
- Host a half-day panel discussion with leading Colorado and Japanese experts in renewable energy and oil-and-gas development, highlighting Colorado’s unique position and exploring opportunities for collaboration in the energy sector.
- Tour Tokyo and learn about the city’s bid for the Summer 2020 Olympic Games. Denver remains interested in a possible bid for the Winter 2026 Games.
- Promote Colorado as an exciting new destination for Japanese tourists. Colorado is home to Pike’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park and some of North America’s best mountain ski resorts. It also is a gateway to nearby attractions such as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Arches National Park in Utah.
- Trumpet Denver’s convention facilities as the perfect location for international conferences, boasting the city’s 44,000 hotel rooms, pedestrian-friendly downtown and nearly 600,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Colorado Convention Center.
- Highlight higher education opportunities in Colorado for Japanese students by meeting with StudyColorado organizations, government officials and Japanese media and hosting a “Colorado Expo” to introduce local students, parents and educators to Colorado colleges and universities. A reception also is planned for Japanese alumni of Colorado institutions.
- After performing at the Ambassador’s Residence, the Montbello High School Drum Line will travel to Denver’s Sister City of Takayama for a four-day cultural and educational exchange.
The new nonstop flight on the 219-seat Dreamliner will take nearly 11 hours from Tokyo to Denver, and 12 hours from Denver to Tokyo. Travelers will no longer need to stop and change planes in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle.
In addition to visiting Tokyo, Mayor Hancock also announced today that he and Tom Clark from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. will lead a small group to Seoul, South Korea, immediately following the Japan visit. They will tour Incheon International Airport, its Airport City and the Songdo Aerotropolis. Incheon and Songdo are considered the best examples in the world of how to activate on- and off-airport property in today’s global economy. The Mayor and Clark hope to observe, learn and bring back lessons and best practices applicable to DIA and metro Denver.
Denver International Airport opened in 1995. Today, DIA is a major gateway to markets across the United States, offering 160 U.S. destinations as the fifth-busiest airport in the country. And as the 13th busiest airport in the world, DIA serves more than 53 million passengers a year.
Japan currently ranks as the State of Colorado’s fourth-largest export market worldwide and second largest in Asia. Annual manufactured and agricultural exports from Colorado to Japan totaled more than $427 million in 2012, with 40 percent shipped by air.